Learning through mentoring. Mentors as bearers of a model of learning for an integrated society

Grander, Martin
Every year, about ninety university students go through Malmö University’s mentoring programme The Nightingale. As a mentor, the student meets with a child from an elementary school in a deprived area of the city for eight months. This article is based on my master’s thesis in educational science, in which I examined the learning among the mentors. The study focuses on learning from two different perspectives: first, what type of learning takes place; and second, the actual knowledge the mentors are developing. In order to analyze my results, I have used theories of learning, social exclusion, societal inclusion and intercultural competence. Both quantitative and qualitative methods have been used. I interviewed twenty four mentors and conducted a survey of all sixty eight mentors in The Nightingale Mentoring Programme in 2008/2009. My results suggest that there is extensive learning in the programme. Mentors develop knowledge about children’s living conditions, social exclusion and social inclusion. Furthermore, they develop intercultural skills that are necessary to decrease the boundaries between exclusion and inclusion ​
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